Fifteen days outVicki
2012/07/31, almost there
Sailing the North Atlantic haiku
Fourteen days outVicki
2012/07/30, eastern Atlantic
Sailing east across the Atlantic, you go through several time zones. It was confusing to us to have to change our times every couple of days. So when we left we changed all our clocks to UTC (or Zulu or Greenwich time). That was much less confusing, plus all the weather data we receive is in UTC time so it was easier to apply the information. My two watch shifts are from 2300 to 0100 and 0700 to 1000. Which meant when we left that I had sunset in the middle of my first watch and sunrise in the middle of my second watch. Now the sun is completely down and it is dark when I get on watch and last night I was able to see the moon for the first time. It left a swath of light coming right up to our boat. And it is completely light when I go for my second watch. Everyone is down below sleeping so it is a very peaceful time. You may have noticed on the map that we have been heading south east the last couple of days. We were warned by the weather forecasters to head that way to avoid a low, a nasty storm. So far, so good, partly cloudy day above and wind at our back. What I like about this trip: I am very surprised, but I have immensely enjoyed blogging. I am not too proud to admit that when we left, I was numb with fear. Writing the blog has helped me organize my thoughts. I like to think about who may be reading this and try to write about what might interest them, making me feel more connected. Doing the 'what I like about this trip' has made me focus, at least once a day on the positives. Because I upload the blog on the satellite phone, I do not get to see the blog itself and have no idea if there are comments. Thank you if there are, I look forward to reading them when in Ireland. I will also be adding photographs so if you are interested you can glance back and check them out.
Thirteen days outVicki
2012/07/29, eastern Atlantic
When the weather forecasters predicted light and variable winds they were exaggerating. The winds were below two knots for almost 24 hours. The water surface was an oily slick with slow, undulating swells. The dial on our wind indicator was spinning around, back and forth, as if it too was looking for wind. We motored, and were bored silly. Then today, right in the middle of baking peanut butter cookies, the wind picked up to 12 - 15 knots. We are sailing to windward. Try cooking when your kitchen floor varies in tilt from 10 to 25 degrees. Sure glad I have the oven belt! Today is baked ham, carrots and parsnips with baked potatoes and real butter! What a treat. I was going to make biscuits, but that isn't going to happen. 321 nautical miles to Galway.
Twelve days outVicki
2012/07/28, eastern Atlantic
The good news is we have sunshine. The bad news is during my 7-10 am watch, the winds clocked from 340 degrees to 85 degrees, in about fifteen minutes! Now the wind is right on the nose. It is light enough and waves are small enough that we can motor in the right direction. But that won't last much longer - waves are building. So we will have to sail close-hauled (bumpy ride) and tack back and forth, almost doubling the distance we have to travel. The other bad news, the spinnaker pole attachment at the top came loose and down came the pole. Luckily, it got caught in some lines and did not hit anybody or damage the boat. No more downwind sailing with a spinnaker, but with winds from the east that wouldn't happen anyway! With any luck the wind will shift soon. 440 nautical miles to Galway.
Eleventh day outVicki
Still grey! Please send some of that Minnesota sun and heat my way! The winds are light and variable so we motored overnight to keep the speed up. Daylight and we put out the spinnaker (too dangerous to fly at night) and are moving along comfortably, if slower than we had hoped for. 540 nautical miles to go. Yesterday we had chicken with linguine that had bacon chunks. Too much linguine, so I saved it, added scrambled eggs and had a late night meal for all of us. Today is roast beef and then we are done with fresh meat. Plenty of canned stuff. The canned chicken and canned roast beef from Costco aren't so bad.
Tenth day outVicki
Weather is still gloomy, but warmer than yesterday. Winds are lighter so we are going a little slower. Getting in 120 -140 nautical mile days. Just over 600 nm to go to Galway. Funny thing is, when there isn't a storm, we are safer out here than sailing by shore. Nothing to run into! But I could stand to see land, that will be so exciting. Hope to be to Ireland sometime on Tuesday. Had my first shower so far on this trip. Also first total change of clothing. I can't tell you how great that feels. I couldn't interest the guys in taking a shower - I think we have a stinkier than you competition going on! Things I like on this trip: Besides the wonderful visit with my daughter Tania on the trip to Toronto, I haven't seen friends and family for 3.5 months. I hit a wall yesterday and felt sooo lonely. Which is weird when I am never more than 3 feet from someone else. So I sent out SOS emails and got some wonderful messages back. Thanks to all, I feel more connected.